Walk along the most beautiful stretch of the Thames, where lived the most remarkable human being of the past 200 years

Another one of Ann’s minor masterpieces. (Let you in on a secret, they’re as good as they are because she did this for the BBC for many years.) This one’s about William Morris and that setting – the most beautiful stretch of the Thames – where he lived for 18 years. Where he did his art and thinking and literature and weaving and translating and designing – and, into the bargain, was the driving force behind the creation of “an arts and crafts” neighbourhood, a Thameside enclave that was a kind of artistic utopia.

Ann’s produced the podcast as a taster for her upcoming William Morris and Friends walk. A walk along that stretch of the Thames, through that neighbourhood. A walk back into that very special time and place. A time and place where people wrote epic poems while weaving a tapestry and didn’t just think but lived the conviction: “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

It’s an extraordinary tale – and a wonderful walk. An Aladdin’s Cave of riches, ranging from Morris’s “party piece” when he was young: getting the girls to pull him up from the floor by tugging on his curly hair to opining that if a chap can’t write an epic poem while weaving a tapestry he’d better shut up to his providing the cut velvet for the walls of the ill-fated Titanic to his realising he’d had his fill of “ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich.”

Great listen, great walk.

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